Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion
Featured Savings Rates
Featured Accounts
Back to Financial News

Experian Sold Consumer Data To ID Theft Service

Monday, October 21, 2013 - 11:31 AM
KrebsonSecurity has reported that Experian, one of the top US credit bureaus, was scammed into selling social security numbers to a Vietnamese hacker for months.  Experian reportedly sold SSNs through its subsidiary, Court Ventures, to Hieu Minh Ngo, who allegedly operated an identity theft service called SuperGet.info. The site also sold drivers license, bank account, and credit card numbers along with other personal data, though it's not clear how much of it came from Experian.


Read more
16
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,356 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 5,954
1. Monday, October 21, 2013 - 12:30 PM
Experian sold our SS #'s? This can't be true!!!
4
loulou521 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,237
2. Monday, October 21, 2013 - 9:01 PM
Actually the lead paragraph of the article is a perfect Cliff's Notes of sort. 
An identity theft service that sold Social Security and drivers license numbers — as well as bank account and credit card data on millions of Americans — purchased much of its data from Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, according to a lengthy investigation by KrebsOnSecurity.
The article is lengthy, so for those who might have written it off as "TLDR", following are the highlights (or lowlights). 

1.  A fraudster-friendly site marketed the ability to look up full Social Security numbers, birthdays, drivers license records and financial information on millions of Americans.

2.  Each SSN search on the fraudster site returned consumer records that were marked with a set of two- and three-letter “sourceid” identifiers, identical to the identifiers used by USInfoSearch.

3.  When contacted, USInfoSearch said the data originated at Court Ventures, since the two companies had a data-sharing agreement.

4.  Court Ventures, which describes itself as a firm that “aggregates, repackages and distributes public record data, obtained from over 1,400 state and county sources.” was purchased in March of 2012 by Experian because of its national public records database. 

5.  Experian later issued a statement:
“Experian acquired Court Ventures in March, 2012 because of its national public records database. After the acquisition, the US Secret Service notified Experian that Court Ventures had been and was continuing to resell data from US Info Search to a third party possibly engaged in illegal activity. Following notice by the US Secret Service, Experian discontinued reselling US Info Search data and worked closely and in full cooperation with law enforcement to bring Vietnamese national Hieu Minh Ngo, the alleged perpetrator, to justice.

6.  The owners of the fraudster-friendly site, who are based in Vietnam, gained access to Experian’s databases by posing as a U.S.-based private investigator.  Apparently while doing their due diligence related to the purchase of Court Ventures, the fact that monthly data access charges using wire transfers sent from Singapore didn't set off any alarms for Experian. 


12
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,356 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 5,954
3. Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 5:27 PM
"Apparently while doing their due diligence related to the purchase of Court Ventures, the fact that monthly data access charges using wire transfers sent from Singapore didn't set off any alarms for Experian."  

It is ironic that Experian painstakingly validate its own customers with silly questions dated back twenty years ago.  On the other hand, they did not pay attention to the obvious red flag shouting in front of their face.

It is just like our high-paid town police, who are so busy/competent catching all the offenders with minor speeding and trivial traffic violations, but they never was able to solve a murder (home invasion) that dated back ten years ago.:D 

 
6
51hh51hh1,460 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,346
Reply